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CARDSHARP


Logging On To Change


‘The internet is not an act of God or an untameable force against which humanity has no control or defences. The individuals who run the world’s biggest tech companies are not more praiseworthy, capable or enlightened than the leaders of traditional businesses. They certainly don’t deserve the right or power to destroy the basic tenets of civilised society simply because there are profits to be made.’ Cardsharp was interested to read this view of journalist Amanda Foreman in The Sunday Times recently and had him pondering on the meaning of life and business.


The pace of change, technological, cultural and social, has become so rapid that sometimes Cardsharp feels it is time to take a breather and reflect on some of those changes - and conclude that greeting card sending and traditional retailing should be cherished.


There has been an assumption made


by many that the growing power of digital companies is somehow a universally good thing. Although many digital companies are happy to be described as ‘Disrupters’ of the


24 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


existing order, they are also keen to spout their commitment to improving society. Google’s motto is ‘Do Good’, Paypal says ‘People Rule’ (whatever that means?). Amazon claims that it is ‘Enhancing Consumer Choice’. The reality though is turning out


to be something different, reflects Cardsharp. Monopoly power seems to be what these giants are aiming for. And with monopoly power, the end


Above: Huge online giants are monopolising the market.


loser will ultimately be the consumer. What’s more, a lot of these businesses could be viewed as ‘parasites’ to Cardsharp’s mind. They have already found legal ways to bleed established sectors such as retail, publishing and music and there is more to come - including greeting cards. Such is the power of these global


monoliths, that they have, in most cases, managed to ignore their obligation to pay tax on their profits, which gives them an even more unfair advantage over traditional businesses, believes Cardsharp. As another Christmas has come and


gone, Amazon has taken a larger and larger chunk of retail spending. The monolith (that was started and still run by the fearsome Jeff Bezos), exploits tax loopholes, and worryingly seems


to care more about market share then profit. This to Cardsharp makes it


even more dangerous. It means that smaller bricks and mortar businesses that pay their dues and need profit to reinvest just can’t compete. Amazon wants this to happen as its aim seems to be total monopoly power in the markets in which it operates. Many feel it is close to


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